This time for our regular tests of smartphones using we received the Huawei Ascend Y530. This is another offer from the chinese giant that has been looking for make a stronger position on the market with the release of devices in every six months, keeping in mind the concern to reach the segments of user concerns about the devices price. With the Y530 Huawei it’s in direct competition with another brands like Motorola with its Moto G, or Sony with its Xperia E1.
By looking to the technical specifications we realize immediately that the concern was the price and not so much the performance. In fact looking for the history of the released devices this Y530 it’s just a slightly improved version of the Y300 released last year.
Looking for a bigger slice of users the Huawei concern it’s very clear in reducing the price of its devices sacrificing the hardware. But is this enough to convince the users? Are there better alternatives? In our review we will try to know that.
Design and Ergonomics
The Huawei Y530 presents a very clean design, just like the usual in smartphones. On the back and on the side there isn’t any texture which is prety bad fo those who tendency to let the devices slip of their hands. The corners are ronded and the buttons connections are in the usual place.
The volume buttons and the stand by button are on the left side and while using the device we press the power button without even notice. This happens because of the proximity of the two buttons and because of the similar touch that they have. However after a few days we get used to that.
On the front the 4.5” screen has three touch buttons that control the device. This buttons are the ones that we are used to in Android devices to go back, the home button and the menu button. The size of the device really eases the use of it with just one hand because the dimensions allow our finger to reach any place of the screen.
The finish of the Y530 it’s all in plastic but it has a sensation of resistance. The weight it’s a little higher than we are used to nowadays. However it’s nothing that it’soffensive to this Huawei design.
In the end this is a device that has nothing that highlighted in it’s design. All we can say is that it’s an equipment with 4.5” screen.
Hardware and Performance
It’s in the harware that the Huawei Y530 was sacrified in order to have a lower price. We just have to look to the specifications of this device and to the specifications of other devices on the market to realize this.
The processor that featured the Y530 it’s a 1.2GHz dual-core and has only 512 Mb of RAM. This specifications combination makes a poor user experience.
Just by switching between applications we can see some delay and just by starting some applications we see the same thing. This it’s never good for those who use the device ends up by giving a wrong message of Android. Go back to the home screen or even just starting the camera application requires some patience. And we can say the same thing when we try to open the browser that the Y530 already has installed or even when we try to use the keyboard and we are loading a page. In this device things happens very slowly, so if you are a user with not so much patience and like that things happens when you ask this device it’s not the best choice for you.
However for daily activities the Y530 it’s up to the challenge without any problems. Making calls, see your emails, looking for an address in Google Maps, listening to musics or see the news all of this it’s possible without experiment lag. But the tasks take more time to execute what can make that the users of a high range android equipment notice the diferences.
The problem of the hardware limitation of the Y530 can be easily overcome. For that Huawei has to decide to update the Y530 from Android 4.3 (the one that comes with the device) to Android 4.4. With this version the android it’s much more optimized to run in devices with less processor and much less RAM.
For the internal memory there are only 4GB available but only 1.86GB are available for the users to store their applications and their files. There is only one microSD slot that allows the expansion of the memory in 32 GB, however the user can only use that memory to store music and photos.
In calls – and this is a device with only 3G unlike the last Huawei releases that are 4G – the microphone as a moderate quality but sometimes who is on the other side have some dificulty in understand what we are saying. The sign reception it’s good so the problem isn’t related with the lack of sign. The speaker has low quality and because of that it’s advisable the use of heaphones for make a call where we don’t want to hold the phone for watch movies or listinening to music.
To rate the real performance of the Huawei Y530 we ran several benchmark tests and this was the results:
This is the main element in the user-device interaction. This aspect although the device’s low price ends up to sacrifice a little bit the quality, the Huawei Y530 has a reasonable quality.
A 4.5” screen means that we have a great amount of space available for a good image quality, however the 854×480 pixels resolution don’t allow specially detailed images even more when we are talking about only 217 ppi. However we can’t complain because this is a typical resolution for devices in this range of prices.
To compensate Huawei equipped the Y530 with a IPS screen. This means that every time we look to the screen we get vibrant colors and goode visualization angles – a pretty positive aspect. This ends up to make up for the low resolution but if we want to watch videos or looking for images with quality in our equipment we will always notice a lack of resolution.
To help to adjust the screen to the different light conditions the Huawei Y530 has a luminosity sensor. However this is a little bit temperamental and skipes several times between levels of luminosity. The luminosity adaptation should be more smooth in a more comfortable way for the user.This is a failure that seems to be caused by the software and not by the hardware, nothing that an update from Huawei doesn’t solve.
As said earlier the Huawei Y530 has the Android 4.3 as operative system. This is a relatively recent version but if it was the 4.4 version it would reduce the hardware limitations.
Huawei, like in every devices that releases, keep betting on its Emotion UI interface. This removes everything what the android has installed altering everything since notications until the definitions panel which makes that every applications installed are in the homepages that the device has. This is what happens with all the iOS users. This makes that we have to appeal to the folders so we can keep our applications minimally organized – the Huawei itself uses that from the begining and the device already presents us with some folders already created.
One of the new feature that was implemented in this Emotion UI it’s the possiblity to change the homescreen to a more simple interface that puts the essential on the fingertips. This is a good addition to the Emotion UI mostly for those who don’t like the icon mess all over the several screens.
Another functionality that the Huawei replace in the origin Android was the keyboard. However the change it’s not for the best because it’s a little confuse and slow compared to the original made by Google. Luckly you can change the keyboard for the Original Android because Huawei didn’t remove it from the Y530.
Huawei Y530 has two camera: one on the back (and the main one) with 5MPx and one in the front with 0.3MPx.
The frontal camera with so low resolution it’s too limited. Because this is an essencial camera for take selfies we should enhance that even with good light the quality it’s very low. However enhance for the guide that says which to look when we are taking a selfie. Despite the low quality photo – it’s more like a painting than a photo – at least we are looking to the right place.
The back camera it’s better than the frontal one and offers us an autofocus. However the results aren’t very good. After several photos we notice that they are unfocused mainly when we have low light. Nevertheless we should consider that this is a commun problem in devices whithin this price range. Enhance for some photos that were pink but this could be a failure from the sofware.
There are several configuration option in the camera and it can record ate 720p.
One of the central themes in the mobile devices it’s battery lifetime. Well if we are with a weaker device in what concerns to hardware it would expected a better battery performance.
Equipped with a 1750 mAh battery the Y530 doesn’t make much more than half a day of performance in a more intensive use of it. Weak performance of this battery that in normal use conditions (some calls, some internel use and some games) it still needs to charge at night so you can use your phone during the next day.
In our tests the Huawei Ascend Y530 falls short of other devices whthin the same price range.
Below it’s the comparative of tests made to the Xperia E1 and to the Moto G in what concerns to battery.
The big Huawei problem it’s that the market of medium-low price devices has been suffering several changes. The devices have better quality and better performance keeping the same prices like the Motorola Moto G. This changes the users expectations that expect always more for this kind of devices even knowing that they are more limited because of it low price.
However if the users know the equipments that are in the market hardly will choose an equipment like Huawei Y530 because there are better equipments in the market like the Moto G with a minimum price diference.
Nevertheless we should enhance that this is a device that works well for those who are looking for an equipment to make calls, see some emails and a little more than that. In our daily use we find out that the camera isn’t good enough to replace the traditional camera, the software it’s very slow but accomplished every time we needed to see an address on Google Maps, make calls or see emails.
The battery it’s one of the negative aspects because the Huawei could and should have done more in this aspect.
In general the Huawei Ascend Y530 it’s a typical equipment of this low price range however arrived at the market in a time where the game rules changed with the released of new devices that has benn changing what we think as normal for this price range.
The Huawei will also have to innovate to not stay out of this new line of innovation and keep conquer the users.